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Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., De Niro, Political Giraffe: NYC Weekend

"Study of the Giraffe Given to Charles X by the Viceroy of Egypt" (1827) by Nicolas Huet. The work depicting Zarafa, the giraffe offered by Muhammad Ali, Ottoman viceroy of Egypt, to Charles X of France to persuade him not to support the Greeks in the war with the Ottoman Empire, was part of a show at the Morgan Library and Museum in 2012. Photographer: Graham S. Haber/Morgan Library & Museum via Bloomberg

In the early 19th century, a giraffe became a political mediator.

Muhammad Ali, Ottoman viceroy of Egypt, offered Zarafa to Charles X of France to persuade him not to support the Greeks in the war with the Ottoman Empire.

And so, after a long journey, Zarafa arrived in Paris where Nicolas Huet, the Younger, depicted the giraffe with her caretaker Atir. They lived together in the Jardin des Plantes in Paris for 18 years.

Zarafa is featured at the Morgan Library and Museum in a show that explores animals as companions, moral teachers and muses.

Don’t miss David Hockney’s 1993 drawing of his dachshunds Bodgie and Stanley, which he describes as “intelligent, loving, comical and often bored.”

“In the Company of Animals: Art, Literature, and Music at the Morgan” is at 225 Madison Ave. through May 20. Information: +1-212-685-0008;

Just north of the Morgan is Madison & Vine, a wine bar with 14-foot windows that open to the world. They sell a nice St. Innocent Anden Chardonnay from Oregon, which is perfect for a Saturday afternoon.

But given this kooky weather, why not try a Spiked Arnold Palmer from the new spring menu? It warms with Maker’s Mark bourbon and cools with iced tea and lemonade.

At 299 Madison Ave. Information: +1-212-867-5535.

Saturday Afternoon

Years before “Mean Streets” and “Taxi Driver” established Robert De Niro as a star, his father, Robert De Niro Sr., was painting pastel representative works and palling around with Henry Miller and Tennessee Williams.

DC Moore Gallery is exhibiting 26 of Senior’s pictures from 1960 to 1993, the year he died. They’re offered for sale for $20,000 and up.

At 525 W. 22nd St. through April 28. Information: +1-212-247-2111;

Saturday Night

Jazz pianist Kenny Werner has very few peers to match his expansive musical imagination and fleet fingers. He teams with the Brussels Jazz Orchestra this weekend at the Blue Note.

The program also includes deep-toned sax man Chris Potter.

At 131 W. 3rd St. in Greenwich Village. Information: +1-212-475-8592;

Sunday Matinee

The winning trio of Will Chase (“Smash”), Laura Osnes (“Grease”) and Leslie Uggams (“Hallelujah Baby!”) pump fresh life into “Pipe Dream,” a rare flop for Broadway hit makers Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein.

An Encores! presentation at New York City Center, 131 W. 55th St. Information: +1-212-581-1212;


Go see photographs by Ansel Adams and Henri Cartier-Bresson at the Park Avenue Armory, which is taken over by more than 75 participants in the annual show organized by the Association of International Photography Art Dealers (AIPAD).

Don’t miss Flip Schulke’s print of Muhammad Ali in his house pool in Miami Beach in 1961, at the Keith de Lellis Gallery booth.

At 643 Park Ave. Information: +1-212-616-3930;

Sunday Night

Wearing official NASCAR fire suits, indie-pop duo Daniel Zott and Josh Epstein -- better known as Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. -- roll in from Detroit for a Bowery Ballroom pit stop.

With a Motown sound matched by intricate vocal harmonies, soulful samples and loops, Zott and Epstein’s energy-driven debut EP “Horsepower” was a winner.

Their first full-length disk is called “It’s a Corporate World.”

At 6 Delancey St. Information: +1-212-533-2111;

Then hoist a draft of Bitburger pilsner with some schnitzel fingers in the open-air biergarten of the hopping Loreley.

At 7 Rivington St. Information: +1-212-253-7077;

(Lili Rosboch writes for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Opinions expressed are her own.)

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